Supersonic’s Personal Trainer, Damian Manning shares his story about his journey into powerlifting, and how what was once was a hobby is now a competitive sport for him.

Here’s Damian’s story….

”My introduction to the gym started when I was at school, I had problems with my weight and was not happy. I approached my mum for help who was a member of a local gym where I was given a simple all over body programme that introduced me to weights. Once I started at the gym I was hooked, often cycling to the gym after school.

Once I started seeing changes I was motivated further, but with limited knowledge at the time my progress slowed. This was where the mind games came into play. When I felt good, I looked good but if I was a bit down my image of myself reflected that, once I realised this pattern I decided not to focus on what I looked like, but what I could do. I changed my focus and started concentrating more on what I could lift rather than how I looked and this was my introduction to my love affair with strength training.

In the beginning, I was training 5 times a week. Each day I would focus on a different muscle group and always start with a heavy compound lift. I saw good progress and I became one of the stronger guys in the gym. I could bench press more than most of them. It felt great but after changing gyms I suddenly realised I wasn’t as strong as I thought I was!

One day I met the cause of this, a strength coach called Dan who was training some of the other guys in the gym. After a few weeks, I spoke to Dan and he introduced me to the sport of Powerlifting… was love at first sight! What was a hobby about how much I could lift for my own personal satisfaction quickly developed the desire to compete with the aspiration of national level competitions.

My training is solely based on the squat, bench press and deadlift. My training is split down to squatting twice, deadlift twice and bench press four times over a four day week. Exercise selection is based on the desired outcome whether it would be to increase strength, address weaknesses, build muscle mass or to improve movement efficiency to shift the most weight possible. Training for me is pushing myself to get closer to my goal every time I enter the gym.

Over the past 4 years I have competed at two regional competitions taking home a 3rd place trophy. I plan on competing in November to qualify for the English Championships… My journey has begun.